Professor Jonathan Nelson Publishes Free-to-Download Book

Art history professor Jonathan Nelson has co-authored a book that is free to download from here until January 25. Prof. Nelson wrote Risks in Renaissance Art: Production, Purchase and Reception with Harvard economist Richard Zeckhauser, weaving insights from their two disciplines to produce this study. The two also co-wrote The Patron’s Payoff published by Princeton University Press in 2014.

From the publisher’s description:

Production Risks, for artists, include late and non-payment. … Reception risks arise when art brings shame, not acclaim. … Ignorance afflicts players in the art world who cannot even conjecture important possible outcomes from their actions. … Major losses were common in the Renaissance art world, but these stories were often buried, while successes got proclaimed. This study corrects this rosy record. It recounts dozens of intriguing cases where parties suffered significant losses, and we diagnose the causes. You are encouraged to take a tiny risk: look at this short study presenting a new approach to a well-studied field. Consider the impact of risk on art production in Renaissance Europe and beyond.”